NAIROBI, Kenya, July 7- Former champions AFC Leopards caged Kenyan Premier League (KPL) leaders, Thika United by walloping them 4-1 as bottom side Kakamega Homeboyz stunned ten-man Sony Sugar by the same scoreline in high-scoring Sunday action.
Elsewhere, the Green Army that descended on Mombasa in their droves will not have a long journey back to their homes after their beloved Gor Mahia edged hosts Bandari 1-0 in a tempestous encounter played at the jam-packed Mbaraki Stadium.
Leopards roar past Thika
Having shared a 1-1 draw last Monday, Leopards welcomed Thika at a televised clash at Nairobi’s Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani for their return tie and the match started at a slow tempo with neither side really willing to push too many men forward, belying what was to ensure.
However, by the 10th minute, Leopards had settled into the game with the likes of Abdalla Juma and Allan Wanga trying to get through the Thika defence.
In the 25th minute, AFC were awarded a free-kick just outside the Thika box. Juma, who was making his Ingwe debut in the match, offered to take it and he sent it through keeper Lucas Indeche’s legs to turn himself into an instant hero among the vociferous Leopards faithful.
Two minutes before the half-time break, Allan Wanga played a one two with Edward Seda dashed into the Thika box and chipped Indeche to make it 2-0.
Thika, got a lifeline on the stroke of halftime when Leopards keeper Patrick Matasi somehow let David Kingatua’s floated freekick-slip through his hands and into the net.
In the second-half, Leopards maintained their fine form and were rewarded again in the 50th minute, through a superb free-kick from Juma who sent the fans into orbit.
Newcomer Mike Khamati, who had come in as a 70th minute substitute for Wanga, completed the day’s rout with powerful shot taken outside the area to complete Leopards biggest win of the season.
Homeboyz turn on the style
When former Thika United frontman, Moses Arita, gifted ten-man Sony Sugar a smash and grab lead at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on 63 minutes, bottom side Kakamega Homeboyz who had taken the game by the scruff of the neck from the first minute had the all too familiar feeling of defeat.
With their numerous supporters and head coach, Edward Manoah, looking on deflated defender Dennis Orenge started the
fight back when he arrived at the far post to nod in the lively Daniel Njoroge deep cross for 1-1.
After Arita missed to extend his sides’lead from another dangerous counter, the stage was truly set for a grandstand breathless finish to the match.
On 80 minutes, Geoffrey Simiyu, who has missed a truck load of chances through the game, found his bearings to hammer home a neat finish inside the box. It got better six minutes later when Keiphas Baraza, another casulty of wobbly boots through out the game received the ball from substitute Allan Osiabo to make it 3-1 as Bukhungu erupted.
And before the fans could finish their retinue of celebration, Andrew Kulecho, collected a loose ball outside the area, juggled it as a tired Sony defence watched before arching a candidate of the goal of the season to the top corner to send the supporters into raptures.
The frenetic final minutes tolled by as a shell-shocked Sony side who lost Ben Baraza to a straight red in first half added time when he hauled his namesake on the opposite side when through on goal looked to concede a record defeat.
In the end, Homeboyz who remain rooted bottom, sealed only their secodn win of the season to give Manoah who took over mid-season his first win and their most emphatic KPL victory of the campaign.
Owino the toast of Gor
A David Owino header on the stroke of half-time was enough for Gor Mahia to escape the bruising contest at Bandari with a 1-0 win, handing the hosts their first defeat at Mbaraki since winning back promotion.
In the last game for stand-in John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla before he hands the reigns to former Uganda Cranes coach, Bob Williamson, Bandari keeper, Wilson Obungu had to be rushed to hospital after he was scythed by Gor attacker, Paul Kiongera, as the pair chased a floating ball outside the box.
That opened up a tempestuous contest that ended with Bandari’s Jeremy Bright received his marching orders for a second bookable offence and despite the home side coming close to netting an equaliser right at the death, Gor held on for the crucial win.
Elsewhere, an opening ten minute salvo in the second game at Bukhungu pitting Western Stima against KCB saw both sides settle for a 1-1 draw.
Returning Jacob Keli put the bankers ahead with the striker netting with virtually his first touch on the ball from kick-off.
Stung, Stima piled into KCB’s territory and after the ball was cleared off the line, they levelled from the subsequent corner following a hand ball in the box, with Hudson Muhavo managing to squeeze his spot-kick past the hands of Sammy Okinda who had guessed correctly.
Stima should have extended the lead when the same player planted the ball in the net with a header but the referee deemed it not to have crossed the line much to the consternation of those watching.
Harambee Stars trialist, Danie Mutahi (50) and Jeremiah Wanjala (76) saw Chemelil Sugar and Muhoroni Sugar settle for a 1-1 draw in an ill-tempered derby in the latter’s backyard.
Muhoroni chair, Moses Adagala intervened to quell stone-throwing fans from both sides with Chemelil’s Willis Ouma, earning his marching orders for using his elbow on Ebrahim Ateng.
The point moved Chemeli to fourth.
On Saturday, champions Tusker were held to a 1-1 draw by Sofapaka as Mathare United salvaged a point in their 2-2 stalemate at Nairobi City Stars.
The league proceeds to a two-week recess to give players in Harambee Stars time to focus on the COSAFA Castle Cup where Kenya is invited as the guest team.
– Material from SuperSport.com was used to compile this report